Holidays can be huge triggers for recovering alcoholics and addicts, regardless of how many years you have been sober. Family dynamics alone can be enough to “drive one to drink” but add all the festive trimmings and you potentially have a recipe for disaster. Recovery is much more than abstaining from your drug of choice and as you acquire more time, emotional sobriety becomes a critical part of living life on life’s terms. A few reminders as we journey through the next few weeks:
Be prepared……in all ways possible. Plan and anticipate if you know what to expect from previous years. Take your own beverage to the party, drive your own car or call Uber for a fast exit, and practice saying “no” politely without too much explanation.
Breathe and smile….a lot. We have proven to ourselves and others, we can persevere for a few hours even under the most difficult situations. You CAN do this.
Leave the sarcasm and resentments at home…..no excuses. Family gatherings can be volatile with or without alcohol. Be creative in finding new ways to deal with sensitive issues. Learn how to gracefully change the subject or inject humor if appropriate. Discuss in advance with your sponsor and double up on meetings if you know your temperament will be challenged. Don’t throw gasoline on fire.
Practice moderation….despite your tendencies. You know doing things in excess is one of your special traits, but frequently results in bad feelings, weight gain, financial stress, and emotional overload. Sooner or later you will learn, less is more.
Acceptance is the key…..to your serenity and much, much more. Everyone of us who has embarked the path of recovery has and will repeatedly be faced with issues we don’t like. So many times we have chosen to fight reality and arm wrestle the truth, only to find, once again, surrendering is the only solution.